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  • Let's face it, there comes a time when you realize that none of it matters. Or maybe all of it does and maybe that is the problem.

    Right now I want to toss cowbird, facebook, my career, everything out the window. Ditch the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. It is July 2nd and 95+ degrees for the past week and goddamnit, and all I want to do is check out, get lost, shut it all off.

    I came home from work tonight and fell asleep, utterly exhausted. I woke up and went down to the kitchen, unloaded the dishwasher and while doing so, listened to voice mail on speakerphone.

    "Hi! Just trying to find you...again..."

    And here we go, again...I thought.

    "I was at work!" I wanted to scream. The same place I've been for the last decade, since I entered the world of school fundraising. Full time, 4 weeks off in the summer. Travel and a lot of nights and weekends. It's great, rewarding work, but it is not teaching - summers off, sabbaticals, very few evenings and weekends, no travel. That is another life entirely, and I cannot understand why this has yet to become apparent in the minds of a few crucial people close to me. It is a disconnect that at times makes me crazy, particularly when it is now summer and there is no where I'd rather be than at home.

    "It's partially because you make it look so easy" says my husband, listening to me lament.
    "Which part?!" I spat. "The job, the commuting, this damned house? The kids' insane schedules? For god's sake, tell me!" I realize now I've reached wit's end and I realize it's likely hormonal. I didn't used to like to acknowledge that piece either, but hey, it's all happening now - at 46 with two teenaged sons, everything is up for discussion, a possible topic for mad ranting.

    "The whole thing, generally, I mean…” he answered softly. “You know, you are not terribly good at asking for help either…” he mumbled, wiping up the counter.

    I refused to acknowledge his comment. That one perhaps cut a little too close to the bone. Swimsuit in hand I stormed out the door, headed toward the pool.

    The heat has made the water tepid, rather than cool. About 88 degrees. Floating in it on a hot night is what I imagine suspended animation must feel like, like the tank scene in “Altered States.” I watched that movie as a teen and the imagery never left me. Instead of emptying my mind in claustrophobic darkness, however, I can empty my mind upward, into the stars. That is exactly what I was after - an altered state. To float weightless, to yield and forget, dissolve into something far greater than my own whining, petty grievances.

    As I stared upward and got lost in the vastness, I realized that he was right - I am not good at asking for help. I will sweat and toil physically or mentally and not think to spend that time rallying others to assist, perhaps even find someone better to do the job. It's as if I am the only one. The only one who can…

    Oh, fill in the blank. It is ridiculous, there are so many. We are the daughters of 70s mothers, the women who were told we could do it all and it would be great! Thank you feminism - you have given me a hamster wheel on which to run.

    I looked to the stars, looking for answers. I watched them blink, along with thousands of junebugs out for their evening rendezvous. If those simple creatures can find their perfect match in their limited life span, shouldn’t I be able to find the right equation to better manage the logistics of my own life? Musn't there be a better way to structure my time and energy to reach my goals without killing myself in the process?

    Blink, blinkety, blink blink. Answered the junebugs. Yes, there's a way - know your pattern and find others who complement it.

    Newly calm, refreshed, ready for bed, I committed to tackle life in the morn with a different lens. Fond of lists, I started to make one, beginning with this reminder of how to possibly start these conversations that need to happen within several areas of my life:

    “I am hoping you can help…”
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